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What the F is: legal edition (pt 3)

Our 'What the F is' section breaks down big, complex concepts in digestible formats.

When I started this legal glossary, I thought it would be a 'one and done' scenario, but the list kept growing. This glossary covers the legal basics from letters I to M, to provide you with a more informed understanding of the law and its language - outside of SVU.


Something that is prohibited as evidence in court.


A promise to compensate someone in order to cover losses that may arise.

Indictable Offence:

A serious crime, usually tried before a judge and a jury.

Informed Consent:

The occurrence of a person agreeing to something with understanding of what it involves and the risks that entail and may arise.


A court order that directs a person to do something or prohibit them from doing something.


When a person is unable to pay their debts in full when they are due.


The authority of a court to hear matters.


Legal accountability or responsibility.


The ability or right to retain property as a form of security until an obligation is performed. This would refer to a bank retaining property until a debt is paid.


Civil court proceedings.


Money paid to a person as financial support.

Mens Rea:

The mental part of a crime that the prosecution must prove in a trial.


A mechanism of alternative dispute resolution involving an independent person (a mediator), this person is appointed to assist the parties in coming to an agreement. Importantly, the mediator does not execute or make decisions, but facilitates the individuals reaching conclusions and outcomes where possible.

Misleading Conduct:

From consumer law. Refers to something done by a seller that is unfair, malicious or likely to mislead a consumer when buying a product or accessing a paid service.